Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Richmond, Virginia Photographers on Exhibition

Late Winter 2012 brings a number of shows featuring Southern photographers based in Richmond, Virginia.

Richmond, VA-based photographer Tom Chambers is having a show of his surreal images (see above) through this month at the Modernbook Gallery,on the 4th Floor at 49 Geary, in San Francisco.

Another Richmond, VA-based photographer, Lee Saloutos, is having a show of photographs from his Nevada Mines portfolio, now up through March 25th, 2012, at the Nicolaysen Art Museum, at  400 E. Collins St., in Casper, WY.

And yet another Richmond, VA-based photographer, Jon-Phillip Sheridan, is having  a show of his photographs as part of the PhotographyNOW2012 exhibition, opening March 10 and up through April 22, 2012, at the Center for Photography at Woodstock in Woodstock, NY. 

And, finally, Richmond, VA-based photographer Susan Worsham is one of the featured photographers for 2012 in Light Work's Print Purchase Program, in elite company along with William Wegman, Kelli Connell, and Tony Gleaton.

What is it about Richmond? And photography?

Photography Festivals on the Horizon for Spring 2012 -- FotoFest and Look3

The Spring Photo Festivals are on the horizon. Lots of these seem to take place in the South.

First up in 2012 is the daddy rabbit of them all (to use a Southern vernacular expression), FotoFest in Houston, which proudly claims to be the Oldest and the Biggest, and promises to have much to offer in this edition, running this year from March 16th - April 29th. 

There will be a major show of Russian photographers, multiple other exhibitions and events, and  the usual Portfolio Review.

For more details of FotoFest 2012, go here.

And for a grand photography festival, but on a much more compact scale, Look3 Festival of the Photograph 2012 will take over downtown Charlottesville, VA from June 7th-9th, 2012.

Look3 involves a transformation of Charlottesville into a temple of photography through outdoor projections of photographs, gallery and museum shows, artists' talks and panel discussions, and multitudinous workshops.

One has the feeling of total immersion into the practice of photography, or, as they like to put it, 3 Days of Peace, Love, and Photography.There's a definite Southern vibe, too. Note the photograph above, from their website, and consider how it captures the world of Southern university towns.

Artists featured this year include Alex Webb, Donna Ferrato,Stanley Greene, David Doubilet, Hank Willis Thomas, Lynsey Addario, Bruce Gilden, Robin Schwartz, and Camille Seaman.

If you have been to Look3, you know what a fine time this is. And if you haven't, those of us who have been can't imagine what you are waiting for.

Monday, February 27, 2012

Eliot Dudik on the PDH 30 New Photographers List for 2012

Columbia, SC-based photographer Eliot Dudik has been recognized by Photo District News (PDN) as one of 30 New and Emerging Photographers to Watch in PDN's April issue.

If you are a subscriber to PDN, you can see Dudik's full-page write-up in PDN's online edition here. Otherwise, you will need to wait until the April issue is available on the newsstand.

In addition to Dudik, photographers with Southern connections who made the PDN 30 New and Emerging Photographers List for 2012 include Daniel Shea, born in Washington, DC but now working in Chicago; Kyle Alexander, born in Kerrville, TX but now working in Los Angeles; Mark Mahaney, born in Chicago and now working in Brooklyn, who studied photography at SCAD in Savannah, GA; Dominic Bracco, born in Texas but now working in Mexico; Mark Fisher, born in Maryland but now working in Idaho; and Jenn Ackerman, born in Virginia Beach, VA but now working in Minneapolis.

Congratulations to Eliot, and to all who made this list.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

North Carolina Photographers on Display

Some of our best photographers based in North Carolina have, or have recently had, work in shows from Raleigh to Atlanta.

Chapel Hill, NC-based photographer Susan Harbage Page has work (see image above) in a large multi-media show called Barkcloth, Bras, and Bulletproof Cotton: The Powers of Costume, now up through May 12th, 2012, at the Gregg Museum of Art and Design on the campus of NC State University.

Page's work, part of the permanent collection at the Gregg, helps the museum explore "not only how clothing serves to protect, shelter, shield, and modify the human body, but also how what we wear helps us lure, seduce, dominate, segregate or manipulate others, discover spirituality and personal self awareness, proclaim our individuality or group membership, or express ourselves."

Raleigh-based photographer Shawn Rocco has a show of his work now up at the Ackland Art Museum Shop at the intersection of East Franklin and Columbia Streets near the campus of the university of North Carolina in Chapel Hill.

You can get a glimpse of Rocco's show on his blog, here. 

Also, Durham, NC-based photographer Titus Heagens is one of the photographers exhibited by the Arnika Dawkins Gallery in Atlanta. Dawkins' gallery is "devoted to presenting fine art from both emerging and established photographers, specializing in images by African Americans and of African Americans.”

Dawkins discusses Heagens' work and the work of others in a video available on the website of artrelish, Atlanta's visual arts website. You can watch her comments here.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

One, One Thousand for February Explores Our Conceptualization of Human Identity

One, One Thousand, the online bimonthly magazine of Southern photography, gives us a twofer for early February, portfolios from two different photographers, both of whom are dealing with the depiction of identity.

Photography -- generally speaking -- functions in the aesthetic tradition of mirroring reality. The work here challenges traditions of conceptualizing identity, the one by showing us portraits of a humanoid mask rather than a human face, the other by inviting us to contemplate the faces of folks who live out the transcendence or confusion of traditional notions of gender identity, what it looks like to be male or female.

Athens, GA-based photographer Leslie Burns gives us Frank, a portfolio in which a mask, vaguely humanoid in design and originally intended to help people learn CPR, appears -- mostly but not always -- worn by someone in an otherwise relatively ordinary situation.

Drawing on the practice of another Southern photographer, Ralph Eugene Meatyard, Burns notes that the mask can be disconcerting, even frightening, to the viewer, but she claims that the wearer of the mask, "through his or her body language, is able to communicate universal emotion." 

"Once the viewer gets over the initial shock of the disconcerting mask," Burns argues, "he or she can see that "Frank" feels the same emotional highs and lows that we all share." As a result, "the viewer is shaken free of any preconceptions and is able to recognize how similar we are, as beasts and as humans, so that we may bypass the prejudices we hold for the unknowns and appreciate each other on an immediately genuine level."

New Orleans-based photographer Eddie Lanieri takes another approach to the question of the Other, using a series of portraits of male transvestites -- mostly seen in the process of transforming from stereotypically male to stereotypically female appearances -- to remind us that gender is itself a kind of performance, with its costumes and its masks. 

Lanieri calls this portfolio Dressed as a Girl, the presumed origin of the acronym DRAG. She says that she tries in this work to "deconstruct the theater of gender impersonation by questioning the implications of gender perception and roles . . .  trying to encourage the conversation of what does being female mean; is it just an outward drama that we play out in front of other members of society or is it something other?"

The people in these images are performers in New Orleans; Lenieri notes that "the only time it is social acceptable for a man to wear makeup, jewelry and dresses when they are making objects of themselves for entertainment purposes. These entertainers are taking the most absurd forms of female and combing raunch for entertainment, which is very similar to the stripper culture."

Strong and challenging work, here, from Burns and Lanieri, in One, One Thousand, for the month of February. 

Friday, February 3, 2012

Burk Uzzle is Having a Show at the Lawrence Miller Gallery in NYC

Distinguished Wilson, NC-based photographer Burk Uzzle is having a show of his recent work at the Lawrence Miller Gallery, at 20 West Street, in Manhattan.

This show is of work from Uzzle's Burned portfolio, and you can see work from the show here.

I have seen pieces from this portfolio when it was on view during Burk's major show at Raleigh's Flanders Gallery last fall.

This is strong and compelling work. There is something about the fragility of the objects, and the randomness of what the fire did to them, and yet the compelling nature of the messages they present to us -- note the text that survives from the Bible that is now fading away -- that makes this work strongly evocative.

Like the photojournalist he used to be, Burk knows that sometimes the wonders of life often appear unexpectedly.

In this case, Burk discovered by chance the ruins of an old country store that had burned years before. In the ruins, he found a host of things -- charred books, rag dolls, and other objects -- that, he says, practically crumbled to his touch. 

Burk took them back to his studio and used studio lighting and a large-format view camera to make the images in this show, images that the Gallery rightly calls "brooding, yet affirmative; filled with mystery and glowing light; and intimate though presented in monumental scale." 

Congratulations to Burk for this fine body of work and for this show. 

SXSE for February 2012

The February 2012 issue of the online version of South by Southeast (SXSE) is now available, here, with full access limited to subscribers (and you ought to be a subscriber, you know you should).

This issue is devoted to photographers working in Southern Appalachia.  Good to see the landscapes and the folks and to be reminded of the issues folks up there are living with.

The editor, Nancy McCrary, reports that the contents include the following featured photographers: Builder Levy, Sarah Hoskins, Tim Barnwell, Tammy Mercure, Ken Abbot, Jerry Atnip, Bill Bamberger, Burk Uzzle (see image above), and  Mark Steinmetz.

Good to see so many North Carolina photographers here, including Ken Abbot, Tim Barnwell, Bill Bamberger, and Burk Uzzle. 

Everyone's images are great, and the interview with Burk Uzzle about his career as a photographer for Life, Magnum, and working freelance is worth the price of the whole issue.

If you are not a subscriber, its really time you were. 

The interviewer should have asked Burk about the time he met Aaron Siskind in Chicago, however.

Oh well, maybe next time.

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Lori Vrba's New Orleans Pop-Up Show featured in PDN

The March 2012 PDN is an issue devoted to DYI (do-it-yourself) promotion of one's photography.

Included in this issue is a story on Pop-Up shows that features Chapel Hill photographer Lori Vrba's now legendary one-night stand in the Treme in New Orleans at last year's photoNOLA.

We had the story here.

If you have a subscription to PDN (and you really ought to, you know you should), you can see the story on-line here.

Otherwise, watch for it on your local newsstand.